x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UAE must win well over Saudi Arabia to maintain World T20 hopes

The UAE need to blowout Saudi Arabia or, because of their low net run rate, they will fail to advance out of Group B in Nepal to the World Twenty20 qualifier.

 

The UAE face an uphill battle Thursday to earn a spot in next year's ICC World Twenty20 qualifier.

Khabir Khan's side need to comprehensively beat Saudi Arabia and hope their net run rate increases enough to put them ahead of Nepal, the hosts, and into second place in Group B of the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup.

The UAE have only lost once (to Hong Kong) in the tournament, which acts as the Asian qualifying competition for the World T20 qualifier, but that could be enough to put them out on net run rate.

Only the top two teams from each group make the semi-finals and the World Twenty20 qualifier to be held in the Emirates.

Wednesday, Hong Kong beat Kuwait by six wickets and Nepal thrashed Saudi Arabia by 95 runs, to go first and second in the group respectively with a record of three wins and one loss.

The UAE now need to produce a similar performance to Nepal and then wait on the run-rate calculations.

With a run rate of +0.199, the UAE need to improve to +1.062, which could be achieved by a combination of bowling out the Saudis cheaply and scoring runs quickly.

Missing out on the World T20 qualifier would be a huge disappointment for the UAE, who were expected to make the 12-team tournament from which two sides earn places at the ICC World Twenty 20 at Sri Lanka in September.